Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton.
After six heats of the Trot Rods Series, a new leader for the fastest time has emerged.
Regal Nightshade sits at the top of the speed ratings following his win last week, stopping the clock in 66.10 seconds for the 947-metre scamper.
The Mark Dux-trained pacer sat in behind the speed before making full use of the passing lane, arriving to claim the 21st win of his career.
While leading a race and dictating the tempo is always a good place to be - especially when there is just one lap - this year’s Trot Rods has shown that you do not need to lead to win.
Following the sixth heat, the positions in the run of the six winners has been varied.
Three winners have been able to lead all the way - Living Free, Tiges Apprentice and Sir Bulski.
Two winners have used the passing lane - Regal Nightshade and No Doubt - with Elle Jay claiming her heat when sweeping down the outside to victory.
It has also been an even spread amongst the trainers and drivers with no trainer or driver winning more than one heat thus far in the series.
The win of No Doubt in heat six last week also displayed that horses can come from back in the pack to score.
Shane Graham had the gelding three back on the pegs just before the home turn before unleashing a sizzling closing sprint to arrive on the wire for a smart win.
With four more heats before the big final night on May 26, will Regal Nightshade be able to hold on as the fastest heat winner and claim the $10,000 speed bonus?
A short half-head; as an official margin, it is the smallest margin in deciding the winner of a race.
A miniscule measurement that can be the difference between glory and vanquishment.
For trainer Mark Rees, that was the difference between victory and defeat and it came at the expense of a career first metropolitan double.
Jumping Jack Jimmy is a newcomer to the Rees stable and has been a good addition to his barn with a win and two narrow seconds in three outings.
Taking the step up to Saturday night veterans’ grade, the seven-year-old was setting the speed in front in race two with Angus Garrard in the bike.
After being given no respite in front, ‘The Kid’ and Jumping Jack Jimmy were in for the fight and fought hard to the wire, beaten in the final stride as Misterfreeze descended from the deep to score.
It was a game second placing and franked the assessment of the gelding’s previous trainer, John O’Shea, that the horse will be well suited to racing in Queensland.
Rees had a pair of runners engaged in the final race on the card, the Marburg to Albion Final, with Jewel Of Peak and Kay Nora Shannon progressing through following Monday’s heats at Marburg.
While both mares were outsiders in the market, Rees was able to train first and third across the line, with just under one metre the difference between snaring the quinella.
Kay Nora Shannon finished over the top to land the prize with Nathan Dawson taking the drive on the mare who recorded a new PB of 1.56.2 in claiming the victory.
The Rees stable is firing at present and with five horses in work, four of the five have been successful over the past 14 days.
If only for the short-half-head margin, Rees would be celebrating his first ever metropolitan double.
Alas, he will wait another day.
Weasel broke a record that had stood for over 10 years - and may not be broken - when racing for the 250th occasion at Redcliffe on Sunday night.
Trained and owned by John Kerr, Weasel broke the record previously held by Viking Jack who was retired back in 2011 one run short of bringing up the 250 on The Triangle.
Sent forward to position outside the leader, 14-year-old Weasel put the leader away turning off he back straight but was unable to fight off the closing power of eventual winner Patchwork Jet.
It was not to be a fairytale outing, with Weasel relegated to third placing in the race following a successful protest from Aurora Rose who had crossed the line in third.
Weasel has recorded 11 wins at Redcliffe in a career that does not look like ending anytime soon, such is his zest for racing.
Read more on the story of John Kerr and Weasel here.
The writing was on the wall following the debut effort of Misty Creek that a win was imminent, after flashing late to grab second place behind subsequent winner My Ultimate Baxter.
That assessment was franked when the two-year-old scored on Friday night at Albion Park when leading throughout to score a smart win in a 1.58.3 mile-rate.
Owned and bred by Julie Weidemann, Misty Creek hails from the same maternal family as Julie’s former star juvenile Misty Plains.
The dam of Misty Creek and Misty Plains were siblings, both out of the mare Mist Teak, a 12-time winning mare for the Weidemanns.
Misty Plains was cut down in his prime, only racing in his two and three-year-old seasons, with the highlight being a Group 1 victory in the 2007 Nursery Pace at Albion Park.
The talented juvenile was a winner of the QBRED Breeders Classic in his 2YO season and was runner-up in the Triad Final.
Misty Creek is now set to attempt to emulate Misty Plains as he heads towards the QBRED Breeders Classic to be held this Saturday night at Albion Park.
The Betterthancheddar colt was still a little green approaching the wire, but he looks a smart type in the making, pulling clear to claim the victory.
Misty Creek has been given plenty of time to mature, with trainer Lola Weidemann giving the colt a solid educational grounding before heading to the races.
That patience can be rewarded with victory this Saturday for the sister-act, 14 years on from the Breeders Classic success of Misty Plains.
All eyes will be on Albion Park this Saturday as the QBRED night of pacing action takes centre stage.
Headlining the night will be a pair of Group 1 events for the three-year-olds, with the Triad Finals for the fillies and for the colts and geldings.
Talent To Spare and Jasper look the main players in the fillies division with Jasper looking to secure successive Triad Finals following her success last season in the two-year-old event.
The boys’ iteration is shaping as a great contest with the barrier draws playing a big part in how the action will unfold.
Big Wheels will be looking to go back-to-back after claiming victory in the two-year-old Triad but will be facing a strong field that will include the likes of Manila Playboy, Chamonix, and Justa Little Bit, among others.
The night shapes as a superb night of QBRED-only action and with over $400,000 in stakes up for grabs - it really does pay to be QBRED.